MP Douglas Carswell to speak at Ukip conference amid renewed infighting


Ukip's only MP will take to the conference stage as the bitter divisions in the party showed no sign of healing under new leader Diane James.

Douglas Carswell has been given just five minutes to address party activists at their autumn gathering despite being the only member of Ukip to have been directly elected to Parliament.

The Clacton MP is one of a number of high profile figures in Ukip who have been frozen out by supporters of outgoing leader Nigel Farage.

Ms James had been urged to find a way to reunite the party after months of spats and infighting among its most high-profile members.

But within an hour of her leadership victory she took the decision to wipe Neil Hamilton from Saturday's agenda for the party's annual conference, which is being held in Bournemouth.

The leader of Ukip's Welsh Assembly group, who Mr Farage has been fiercely critical of, has been replaced by a 10 minute coffee break and a five minute speech by Nathan Gill, the man he ousted.

Mr Hamilton, who only found out about the so-called purge after being told by reporters, said it was a "rather bizarre way" to unite a party.

He also claimed Ms James would find it "difficult to define herself".

Although Mr Farage did not officially endorse any candidate during the contest, it was clear that he was keen for Ms James to take over.

Ms James insisted she was a "new leaf, new book, new era" but admitted Mr Farage would offer "help" and said she would be "absolutely nuts" to ignore it.